'Overwatch' Pro Team Offers Statement About the Imposter "Ellie"

'Overwatch' Pro Team Offers Statement About the Imposter

From there, the stranger reports only got stranger - including the one that ended up being true: It was all a social experiment - "Ellie" wasn't "Ellie" at all.

Ellie was initially regarded as the first female player to be rostered in North American Overwatch Contenders.

The Overwatch rep also went into details about the process involved in confirming the identity of Overwatch League and Overwatch Contenders players, saying "we do background checks to ensure that players are who they say they are as well as meet other eligibility requirements, and will take action against players if we discover any behavior that warrants it". Twelve teams in each of the seven Contender regions battle it out multiple times a year, and the winners have a chance of joining the Overwatch League.

Overwatch Contenders team Second Wind released a statement on Saturday affirming that one of their roster additions, a player by the name of "Ellie", was a male competitor assuming a female persona. According to Second Wind, "Ellie" did not want to reveal her last name or identity out of fear of harassment.

Many among the community who have been questioning Ellie's legitimacy have been speculating that the person who was playing under the identity of "Ellie" was not actually her. The team manager, Justin Hughes tweeted that "on one side, we had people questioning her legitimacy, issuing threats, etc. while on the other hand, we had people acting like they had found their Messiah".

Since that story broke, it apparently has turned out that "Ellie" was an imposter and nothing more than a "social experiment" by another player who is rumored to be Punisher, a top 500 player on the Overwatch ladder. Exactly what that experiment was meant to accomplish is unclear - as is whether or not Punisher was the only other player involved in faking Ellie's account.

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The news of her departure was announced in a statement on the official Second Wind Twitter account.

The team reached out to Blizzard to work on verifying Ellie's identity as tensions and suspicions rose. Between needing a player to live up to huge expectations and having to question their own safety, it seems that the OW community isn't ready to just view a player as just a player. "We wanted a player", Hughes said, "but it seemed like the public wanted something else".

Second Wind brought "Ellie" on board back in December, and less than a month later, announced her departure on Twitter citing "unforeseen reactions" as the reason for her leaving, which it later clarified as "doxxing and personal threats" fuelled by her anonymity. Even now, following her decision to step down, many comments in the Competitive Overwatch subreddit still perpetuate the conspiracy theory.

Smurf accounts are known as additional accounts that established players make in order to start their competitive ranks with the experience and skills they've honed on their main account.

"It's absolutely unacceptable for members of this community to bully, harass or doxx players for their gender", she said on Twitter. "We have to do better, not just for the women and girls playing this game now, but for those growing up watching us".